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Sunday, February 26, 2012

35 weeks

I would be remiss if I didn't post this :)

Here is the development for 35 weeks.

Butternut Squash!

your baby at 35 weeks
  • Now, the hearing is fully developed, and baby responds best to high-pitched noises. 
  Your little Karate Kid can't quite pack the punch he used to due to the limited space inside the womb these days. You're likely to feel more wiggles, stretches and rolls than kicks and jabs. The extra layer of fat your baby is adding will create those cute dimples on your baby's elbows and knees. Baby's liver has begun processing waste products, so you know which organ to thank when they have their first blowout up the back of their onesie.

Baby's nails are growing so long they may curl over the tips of their tiny fingers and toes before they see a pair of clippers. Baby'll be in serious need of a mani-pedi once born (as will you).

Your baby is now about 5½ pounds and over 18 inches long—about the size of one of those price-club sheet cakes.
This week the final touches are being added to your mini-masterpiece and most of their development is going to packing on the pounds. While baby's movements may be becoming less jerky, they may do their final somersault in the womb soon—to get into the head-down position for birth.

I'm beginning to think that this baby has no intentions of EVER flipping. :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

72nd percentile!!!

Yes, that's right...the baby is in the 72nd percentile!! They measured today, and the baby weighs 6 lbs 1 oz, give or take a pound. That's SUCH a huge answer to prayer. That means that the baby is getting all the nutrition and blood flow that they need through the umbilical cord.

Today's appointment went fairly well. When I got there, N (the sonographer who is not my favorite) came to the waiting room to get me and I immediately started praying. She's nice, but she never seems to know what she's doing. She started the ultrasound and asked "So, do they have any surgeries scheduled for when the baby is born?" I immediately panicked and said: NO, why? Why would they do that? The varix disappears once the baby is born and the umbilical cord is no longer needed. Why do you ask?
She said that she hadn't seen me in a while and just wanted to see if anything changed. HELLO! Look at my file, lady! Don't ask me questions like that unless they are justified!!! Fortunately, the doctor said that there wasn't anything to be concerned about...but she freaked me out. And then....N asked if I had a fetal echo-cardiogram. WHAT??? I immediately panicked AGAIN and asked "WHY?? What is that? Why would I need that?" No reason again...she was having difficulty looking at the heart at this stage in the pregnancy and was just asking. She did say that people who get the echo-cardiogram get one because the baby is at risk for heart defects. According to the doctor, though, my baby's heart is's just hard to see everything since the bones have all hardened. But...don't ASK me stuff like that!
Anyway, Dr.M came in and asked to look for herself. She looked at the varix (which has varied measurements from 1.6 to 1.8), and there was a big black spot in the varix. This would mean that the blood is clotting and there is limited flow. I was really impressed though, because she said: "Let's go to another room and look at it on a higher powered machine." So, we went over to another room, and the black spot was no more. Blood flow was fine. Phew!

So, yes...I'm 35 weeks tomorrow and the baby continually gets 8 out of 8 on BPPs. The baby is measuring bigger, which will be good for an earlier delivery. I'm still holding my breath each time and praying that we make it to 37 weeks. I'm REALLY praying that the baby doesn't have any other issues. The doctors assure me that they haven't seen anything that would justify my worries that anything else is wrong. Personally, I believe deep down that nothing else is wrong, too. I just hate it when a sonographer plants new worries in my head.

Keep us in your thoughts and prayers! It's going to be a LONG two weeks!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

What on earth is a durian???

A durian. At 34 weeks, my baby is the size of a durian. A durian looks like this:

I bet that cleared it up for you, huh?

Well, though we don't get another measurement until next Wednesday, we can hope and pray that the baby is on the larger scale of that measurement for a...durian.

Pulling from two sites again, here is what happens at 34 weeks:

  • Baby is recognizing and reacting to simple songs, if you're singing them. (If you're not, start! They may find them soothing after birth.)
  • They are also urinating about a pint a day.
Well isn't that special. Urinating a pint a day. Thanks, baby. Sweet of you.

From another site, here's more interesting and disturbing facts for a baby that is 34 gestational weeks

 Your Baby
Your baby kind of looks like they are coated in a layer of cream cheese these days. The thick, white substance that protects her skin from pruning in the amniotic fluid is called vernix. When baby is born you'll probably see some vernix lingering in the "hard-to-reach" places like under her arms, and behind her ears. (Ew..)
The soft fur, lanugo, that covered your baby's body for much of their stay in the womb is now almost completely gone. Your baby begins to develop their own immune system, instead of relying solely on antibodies received through the placenta. This will come in handy when some grubby relative manhandles the baby without washing his hands first.

This week, your baby measures about 17¾ inches, as almost as long as an American Girl Doll (!) and weighs almost 5 pounds, as heavy as a bag of sugar, minus the cup you put in your decaf this morning.

So that's 34 weeks! We now have 3 weeks til I'm 37 weeks. Keep those prayers coming!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Dr. Google is not my friend

It's true. Googling something is the worst thing you can is borrowing trouble. Last week, I looked up "Why do babies stay breech?" I got a ton of answers that began to make me anxious. I saw horrible pictures and really panicked. Finally, on Monday I asked Dr.B. He told me that, yes, there are some reasons a baby stays breech that have to do with brain development or pelvic bone size...but there are also breech babies that just don't want to turn. I asked if they would have seen anything in sonograms to prove the worst case scenarios and he said that, yes they could see it. They hadn't seen anything in my sonograms though.


Then I googled babies born around the 37 week mark. I began to panic again. My friend told me I was borrowing trouble. Sigh. I was borrowing trouble.

So, I've decided to stop looking at Google. I'm just going to hope and pray that all will be well, that the baby will be healthy, and that I can make it through this. I think I'm starting to go crazy.

The varix IS measuring 1.7 now. That's bigger than the stomach. Dr.N said that the turbulence has lessened, though, so that's really good. I'm still in panic mode...constantly.

I finally got the nerve to start doing baby laundry and setting up some of the nursery. We are still in a small house, though. Part of having a house on the market is that you keep it uncluttered and make it presentable for showing. The swing takes up half the dining room. Argh! I've gotten to where I can't find a place for toys or anything other than clothes and the essentials. I can't wait til we get a bigger house!! :)

Other than my panic and lack of space, all is well! The baby is doing well. I feel like I've aged 10 years though. I just look forward to holding this little one...and praying that in the meantime that varix stops getting bigger!!!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

231 days pregnant, 4 weeks to go...

The baby is getting bigger and bigger. I can really tell from the rise and fall of my stomach and keeps happening when the baby moves.

And today, I am 33 weeks pregnant. For me, that means I am having a hard time sleeping, but that the baby is still growing and that there are only 4 weeks left of this!

Wondering what happens during 33 weeks? Well, I pulled from two sites. Here are two pictures of the size:

Honeydew Melon

your baby at 33 weeks
  • They are keeping their eyes open while awake.
  • They are also starting to coordinate breathing with sucking and swallowing.
  • The bones are hardening.
  • And they going through (more) major brain development -- that's one smart baby!
Your Baby
The big news this week is lung development—baby's respiratory system is almost completely mature. That means if your baby was born this week, odds are they'd be a healthy bouncing baby with a just a little help from their friends (aka, the NICU). Some of the specifics are:

Your baby can now detect light and tell the difference between night and day (of course that ability will miraculously disappear once they are born and up all night screaming). The pupils will constrict and dilate in response to light. If you shine a flashlight on your belly, your baby may shy away from the light as if to say, "Cut it out, Ma. You're soooo annoying."

The bones in your baby's skull are soft and are not yet fused together. In other words, now is not the time to teach the baby how to do a headspin while breakdancing. This pliability allows the bones to overlap; making that trip down the tight birth canal possible (and resulting in that surprising cone head look your baby will sport for the first few days post-birth. Don't worry, it's totally normal and that's what hats are for.)

Your baby will continue to pack on the pounds gaining around ½ pound a week from here on out.

Your baby weighs about 4½ pounds, as much as a grownup duck, and is approximately 17.5 inches long, about the same as a collarbone-length pearl necklace. (Did somebody say push present?) 

That's all! Keep those prayers coming! :-D

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Highs and Lows

Throughout this process, there have been extreme highs, and extreme lows. However, there are times where the lows are moderate, but bothersome none the less. Last week was one of the lows.

On Monday and Wednesday, the varix measured 1.7. This is VERY large for a vein. To explain again, the vein should measure 9 mm at the time of birth. At the beginning of this, mine measured 8 mm (that was at around 21-22 weeks). Now, at 32 weeks, the vein measured 18 mm. Dr.B came into the room on Wednesday and said: The varix has grown half a centimeter since December. We don't know what this means or what the next step would be with this. We'll look again on Friday.

Of course, I panicked. See, both times it measured 1.7, it was with a whole new sonographer. And, the doctor didn't check for himself. I worried all week. I thought that I just couldn't do this anymore. It's just too exhausting. So, I ate a sleeve of Thin Mints. Don't judge.

On Friday, I had to drag a drugged up Scott with me to the appointment. Poor guy has his wisdom teeth out on Thursday, but he seemed to feel alright, and there are times I just think I can't face another appointment alone. When we got there, I asked the receptionists if M (my favorite sonographer) could do my sonogram. I let them know I was willing to wait. My thought was that if M did the measurement and it ended up measuring 1.7, I'd be able to accept that. I think the key to the measurement is consistency in the operation of the machine.

Alas, they called me back and M was not able to do the sonogram. We had a sonographer who has helped us before on the weekends, so I was okay. She measured 1.4. I sent up a prayer of thanks right then and there. Scott asked about the consistency of the operator, and it was verified that the operator could add a variation in the measurement. She said that a slight tilt of the wrist could change the measurement by a couple of mm. After she left, M came in and told us that she really wanted to do the sonogram but got caught up. She also reassured us of the variations. So, I felt a little better. And a little regretful of the thin mints.

Dr.M came in and asked if I wanted to be admitted into the hospital for the remainder of the stay. She said from a medical standpoint, the three time a week sonograms were adequate. However, if it was going to give me a piece of mind, she would sign off on my being admitted. I told her that, yes, it would make me feel better. But, no, it would not make me feel better.

So, I left feeling alright. The baby has been moving more. Last week, the baby measured 4 lbs 4 oz, so that's really good too.

Today, I met with my OBGYN and he said that all was well. He did, though, walk in the room and say "I think this is the most monitored baby in the history of medicine. I've had people go two times a week, some three times a week, but never for this long." Of course, he said it in a jovial way, but he's most likely right.

The up side to all of this is: 1) I have made the remainder of my sonogram appointments. 2) We are discussing D-Day now.

My OBGYN said that the baby might still flip (ha...), but he would look into when a C-Section would work in his schedule. Soooo...all of that said...should the varix not measure consistently large, and should the turbulence at the entrance to the varix not affect the growth or blood flow, I will make it to 37 weeks. However, should anything change, the baby will be delivered immediately.

I will be 33 weeks on Thursday. I'll give an update then because I'll finally be a new fruit/vegetable size! :-D